Ratings: Duck Dynasty Premiere Down Sharply

Phil Robertson Leaving Duck DynastyThere was no scandal bump for Duck Dynasty, which experienced across-the-board ratings declines in its return Wednesday.

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The Season 5 premiere of the A&E phenom drew 8.5 million viewers, down sharply from the nearly 12 million that tuned in for the Season 4 opener last year. Among 18-49, the back-to-back episodes dipped 33 percent to 4.2 million viewers.

This marked the first Duck Dynasty episodes since the controversy surrounding Phil Robertson’s incendiary GQ interview, a dustup that led to his temporary suspension from the series.